1st Travel Inn
708 Center Avenue, Oakley, Kansas, 67748, United States
More about Oakley
Brochure on the museum
Brochure of the town color
The Buffalo Bill Monument
Survivor of the Plains and Logan County Courthouse
Travel Tips for Oakley
About 20 miles south of Oakley is one of Kansas' most remote landmarks, Monument Rocks, also sometimes called Chalk Pyramids by the locals.
A gravel road leads for about 6 miles off U.S. 83 to these chalk formations which stand on private property, but are open to the public. The setting is on the desolate open prairie, many miles from any buildings or human habitations. Please respect the property by not leaving anything behind, climbing on the rocks, or digging in the area. There are no facilities on the property.
It is believed that more than 200 million years ago, western Kansas was part of a large inland sea that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, separating the North American continent into two distinct bodies of land. It is believed that the region was warm, that tropical vegetation grew far to the north and sea-animals lived in the warm waters. There is no evidence of swift-flowing tributary rivers and the fossil evidence suggests that animals dying in this inland sea fell slowly to the bottom.
Scientists speculate that after the ocean had dried up and the bottom had risen above the level of the ocean's floor, other deposits made in lakes and by the winds covered these sediments burying them for millions of years. Over the ages, the winds and rains have again laid bare the ocean bottom, blowing and washing the softer sediments away to expose what are now known as Monument Rocks. It has been designated by Congress as a National Natural Monument.
A Great Little Town with Pizzaz
Small as the town may be, it makes up for in publicly announcing its featured museum and other ties. Besides the Fick Fossil Museum, it also says Buffalo Bill came from here.
Vi and Ernest Fick found and sought out many fossils and created this museum. it has a long old prehistoric fish fossil, skull of a 30 foot mosasaur, and many other oddities and neat items. Camera was out for shots here-soooo
"Birthplace of the Buffalo Bill Legend"
In the area around Oakley, Kansas, signs advertise that town as the birthplace of the "Legend of Buffalo Bill." That does not mean the Buffalo Bill Cody was born here. It was here that he earned the title of "Buffalo Bill" by winning a bison shooting contest with another famed hunter (at that time), Bill Comstock. The bison shooting contests drew numerous curious on-lookers, most arriving by a special Union Pacific train to witness what we now know to have been a senseless slaughter of magnificent animals upon which the plains Indian tribes were dependent for their subsistence. Body shot 69 bison; Bill Comstock 46. For many decades, Buffalo Bill Cody was glamorized and lifted up as a hero. My view of his stature in American history has deteriorated steadily over the years.
You can see the scale of these sculptures observing that Nancy is standing behind the Cody on horseback statue. This monument is located on the west side of Oakley on US Highway 83, just north of its junction with US 40.
"Another view of the sculpture..."
Oakley, Logan County, Kansas
Oakley, a progressive little city of 2,173 people (2000 census) is the county seat of Logan County. It is on the high plains of western Kansas at the crossroads of US-83, US-40 and I-70.
Most people who come to this area are only passing through. First were the nomadic American Indians, then pioneers came by covered wagon or stagecoach. The railroad followed, then roads, and finally the interstate highway. Many travelers today only make a pit stop at Oakley, if they stop at all, on their rush along the interstate, east or west, to larger population centers. Those who take time to pause and explore a bit will find many points of interest on this windswept prairie region that gave birth to the legend of Buffalo Bill.